Trout River Report
Hit my favourite stocked trout stream on the last day of June. This place has been my salve over the 17 years I have lived here. When I tire of lake fishing, trash fishing (places full of trash) warm water fishing, etc. coming here has been the cure. On this day the hatches where good the mosquitoes bad and the hits a plenty. There was even loads of Hex husks! (Who says it is pointless to fish during the hex hatch.
I was hoping for a trout hat trick but caught 4 of the hatchery’s products with a rock bass thrown in for good measure.
Nice to see them treating this stretch of river the way it was intended, as a C&R recreational fishery giving people a feeling of what it is like to fish (preferably fly fish) a typical trout stream. In years gone by we’ve had the water shut off at the behest of the cottage owners, zero stocking, weird stocking, etc.
I tell you, it is nice to fish a few stretches of water and get uncountable hits and landed fish.
I started with nymphs, switched to drys (for more flying fish and less hook ups) and back to nymphs. Nothing big just big fun.
A Day Guiding
On May 26th I took a Father Son duo fishing. They were both from Brasil. The elder was very experienced with the fly rod but spoke little English and the son spoke excellent English but knew little about fly fishing.
Worked out fine. Dad needed no monitoring, could cast and fish. Could read water and choose flies. This allowed me to help the son.
Over all they were looking to catch some fish and take in some wilderness scenery. The weather and the scenery cooperated, the fish, not so much.
First stop was a hydro dam along the Winnipeg river. Except for the dam, the scenery is great. This place is usually good for a few fish, but on this day, after a couple of hours, we got none.
Down the road to the next stop. Where we did get some action in the form of hits and a couple of fish.
One small rainbow trout and one medium tiger trout.
Off again to get some pike and maybe a walleye or bass.
First stop was a launching area where we got some hits and landed on small pike.
Next (and last) was a favorite area of mine. Rare for Manitoba, in that that is more than a few feet of wade-able river.
The elder got 6-7 pike. I even took off my guiding hat and caught a couple as well.
As we had been at it for 10 hours we headed home. On the way we saw a bear in the ditch.
Here is the (short ) film of our day.
Anton’s Lake Manitoba Brown Trout
Anton’s Lake is another pothole type prairie lake and considered the closest of the so called “Parkland” lakes. It is located 202 kilometers from the western edge of Winnipeg. Located at the junction of highways 10 and 16, this lake had an aerator install and has been stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout for a number of years. This week marked the beginning of the Manitoba general fishing season. I’ll never know why but the opener is always on the same weekend as Mother’s Day. As I teach all day Saturdays I have a hard time getting out on this particular Sunday. So I went trout fishing (trout lakes are legal all year round) on the Friday before. The wind was a steady ‘ill wind’. That is to say an easterly wind. When this happens fishing the shores and points the wind has been hammering doesn’t always produce fish they way an predominant NW wind does. What actually happened was the fish were feeding in their normal spots but that driving wind made positioning, casting and stealth, a real challenge!
My opening fly was a weighted muddler. On the bench a brown tailed orange winged muddler with a burnished brown diamond dub body seemed the perfect fit.
Fished the whole lake with that thing trying to beat its weight AND that wind. My shoulder was a aching.
Now I did see some active fish slashing minnows in the weeds but they did not seem to find this muddler enticing.
What did end up working was a golden flash-a-bou nymph pattern.
Here are the 2 fish I got on that fly.
Afterwards, the the wind died and the BP changed. The active fish stopped showing and nary a hook up to finish my time.
I did risk taking my Nikon D70 and got good bird captures from the boat.
Changes At the Hatchery
So we are down to one hatchery location. This isn’t news but it is relevant. In reaction to, or in anticipation of actions of the newly elected government, the hatcheries has started on some austerity methods.
Those of you who are in the know who might think they are cutting back on
- Stocking back country lakes most can’t access
- Stocking ‘put and boil in the summer heat’ ponds
- Making hybrids that use the same amount of resources but produce less fish
Well you’d be wrong.
Other than a hiring freeze, that seems to date back to well before the election, they are cutting out the rainbow trout (and possibly brown trout) brood stock program. Instead having fish on hand to harvest eggs and milt, they are buying pre-fertilized eggs. The reasons are sound for going in this direction. Apparently hatchery fish take longer to spawn than in the wild. But gone are the days when you could accidentally catch a 24″ trout in an unlikely location. And gone is the security of making your own fish reared in your own water.
Another strange development is the addition of Albino Trout???
I guess they where giving away these fish from the “Trout Lodge” to their new best customers here in Manitoba so all tax payers were paying for was the rearing of eyed eggs to swim and the truck to the stocking locations around the province.
I am not sure the value of these fish beyond that. As one person put it “They look like someone threw a light bulb in the water”. Glow in the dark pink-eyed hatchery fish should prove no match for the loons, mergansers, and other piscivorous species out there let alone the trout that have been in these waters for a few years.
Better to save these fish for the ornamental ponds the were probably designed for.
Your Tax Money.
That stamp on your fishing licence, that became a permanent print on the licence, that was supposed to be only for fish enhancement, is now for fish AND wildlife enhancement. That means the fisher (who out number the hunters) will be footing the bill for all things outdoors and not just fish as intended.
Many years ago and many times since, it has been suggested that some of these aerated lakes with tax payer fish in them, should maybe have a ice fishing ban placed on them. Not all but maybe the ones that had special fish in them that don’t take well in other stocking locations. Two reasons have been given against any such change.
- That banning a form of fishing is seen as a form of favoritism to fly fishing. This is bunk, we have bait bans and motor boat bans all over the place based on biological reasons. (Even though keeping the gut hooking, grip and grin, photo op, eyeball freezing ice holes off a couple of sensitive lakes can easily been seen as biological. So we could have ice fishing bans on lakes LIKE EVERY OTHER PROVINCE IN CANADA AND EVERY NATIONAL PARK IN CANADA.
- That, if we did ban ice fishing on any lake whatsoever, that some locals would ruin them by illegally stocking them.
Well guess what. Pike, perch and even catfish have been introduce to many of the aerated stocked trout lakes. Some can be blamed on overland flooding but most are a direct result of the so-called “White Pail Biologists”
The worst of both worlds. We could enact a law for fear of someone breaking a different law and sat back while they broke that law anyways.
So we still have no 20th century regulations in place outside of barb-less hooks. and the can and cannot fish regs, designed to be simple. are a joke.
- Complete closure on all fishing except on stocked trout lakes (that now have closed season fish in them) April to mid May.
- We can net for suckers during that time but not angle for them
- We can angle on lake trout water in the presence of pike, bass and walleye
- We can’t angle for pike (like we can across the Ontario border) anywhere
- As fly fishers we can only use 2 hooks as each fly counts as 1 lure but we can throw a 3 treble (9 hook) plug.
- We have no C&R season for any fish
- We have almost no C&R water
Afraid of change much?
Tiger Trout and Brown Trout Manitoba Still Water Fly Fishing
A little eastern Fly Fishing For Stocked fish. Its was cold and windy for this Easter Fishing but 3 fish were caught before skedaddling back to Winnipeg for Easter dinner
The Tradition Continues
As stated in an earlier post, I like to hit the Whiteshell River the last Sunday of October. This year I hit the jackpot as it was very late in the month. To make it more special I used my Tenkara.
Anton’s Lake Manitoba Parkland’s Still Water Trout
Sure the lakes can be considered spring and fall fisheries. Sure you can call them glorified aquariums with the aerators and all but damn the finishing can be fun when it is hot!
and the pictures
Newfoundland Round Up
So we spent a month in Canada’s most Eastern province. I Have combined all the fly fishing related stuff into one blog post
First off is my First Fish from the salt water a “Conner”
Next is a video of me catching a mackerel on the fly!
Then Just a bunch of brown trout from either the Waterford River in Downtown St. John’s NL or Rennie’s MIll from the north part of St John’s
Fall on the Whiteshell RIver
I have a bit of a tradition that I keep. The last day trout season in Manitoba (at least for rivers) is the last day of October. The closest trout stream is the Whiteshell river. Sometimes I go before that. Fall is great ther because the fish have been stocked and acclimated and start acting like trout before they move to the lake or get predated upon or killed over winter or whatever happens to them so as there are no fish in the river in spring
Still Water Trout Fly Fishing Report
Ok Finally did some Fishing worthy of posting about
Anywhoooo 6 fish in 3 hours the biggest a 17″ brown. The air got to +27C and I was catching fish shallow in the mid day that won’t happen again!
No Woolly Buggers were used 😉